Even if you live on a remote island at the top of the globe, chances are the pandemic has impacted you in ways you never thought possible.
For almost every citizen on earth, COVID-19 has gone and ripped up their best-made plans for the year. And even though we all live such different lives, how we are being impacted by the pandemic and the controversies it’s causing in our communities share more similarities than not.
To get a better perspective on the scope of COVID-19’s impact, we asked professional parenting and travel bloggers—let’s be honest, experts on two of the biggest economy drivers—to tell us the top three aspects of their lives that have been affected due to COVID-19.
The responses we received reminded us that we’re all more alike than we think, and we miss the same basic things—hugging our friends and families, experiencing other cultures, and having a sense of what tomorrow might bring.
We’ve shared their insights below.
“We have not hugged our parents/grandparents for six-plus months.”
Cher Kachelmuss: Mom and More
“We have not hugged our parents/grandparents for six-plus months. We are fortunate to safely see them social-distance style, but we do not do any hugging. I miss those hugs.
My kid’s sports teams have not played games, which usually is our entire weekend. It is definitely weird to not have anything on our weekends, and I do miss cheering them on.
We have had a lot more family time due to our normal activities being canceled, so we have had a lot of family movie nights and game nights.”
Check out Cher on Facebook!
“I have not gotten on a plane in 2020…”
Chris Christensen: Amateur Traveler
“The effect of COVID-19 has been different for different people. As someone without school-aged kids who works from home doing remote work as a software engineer, my life is [in] many ways less affected than many.
However, as a part-time travel journalist, I have seen a lot more of my home than I normally would in any year. I have not gotten on a plane in 2020, which is odd for me. By comparison, I think a few years back I calculated I spent 11 days on planes. I have spent exactly one night in a hotel [in 2020], while I have had recent years where I spent a quarter of the year in a hotel room. So, travel has clearly been something that has changed for me.
Being a travel blogger and podcaster, not only did the bottom drop out of travel plans, but it also dropped out of traffic and revenue. I am fortunate among my travel blogger brethren not to rely on the money I make from blogging as my sole income. In recent days I have seen the traffic to my newer local California blog triple while that to my larger more general travel blog is still only at half what it was before COVID-19.
Like so many other people, what we have had to find is a new rhythm to our lives. Since we get out a lot less we have made time for Friday evening wine and cheese in the backyard, zoom calls to family. We have seen our son and his fiancée who live in our state but have not seen my aging parents at all or my daughter and her husband that live across the country.”
“Our family has thrived with the mass cancellation of all appointments…”
Janel Case: A Mom’s Take
“Our family has thrived with the mass cancellation of all appointments and commitments. We have pretty laid back homebody personalities, so while we enjoyed many of the activities of school, scouts, church, health and dental appointments, etc, it’s been wonderful knowing there’s nothing on our schedule. Transitioning back into the school year has gone better than expected for us. I was very concerned facing three very different school schedules for our four boys. However, my fourth, sixth, and eighth graders picked up virtual schooling easily. There are still some challenges with virtual school for my kindergartener. Overall, the hardest struggle for us as a family is missing those social connections—our friends and family that we have missed being in person with.”
“...our faith practices have been impacted…”
Virginia Higgins: That Bald Chick
“As a homeschooling Mom, you may think that COVID-19 has had little impact on our lives. That simply isn't true. Many of the activities we enjoy outside of our home are now either cancelled or restricted. We've used this time to restructure our homeschool so that we can enjoy our time together more. Additionally, our faith practices have been impacted, as COVID-19 restrictions influence how we gather and what we do when we gather.”
“...not being able to smile at people when wearing masks…”
Jennifer Regan: Eighty MPH Mom
“One surprising aspect that has REALLY affected me is not being able to smile at people when wearing masks In stores or other public places, and others not smiling back. To me, it’s such a natural thing to do, and it can really feel so somber when I’m out and about, even on what would normally be a bright and cheery day.
It has affected our family in a positive way in that we have learned to work together like a well-oiled machine. We are organized. We all work on meals, cleaning, the grocery list and shopping. We are all on the same page for once!
It has brought about so many emotions that I haven’t felt before—ostly fear of the unknown. Also, the realization that for the first time ever, there is NOWHERE in the world that I can go to escape. Nowhere. That is a strange feeling.”
“...longest time we've stayed put in one location…”
Esther JuLee & Jacob Fu: Local Adventurer
This is the longest time we've stayed put in one location since 2013.
It's given us much needed rest and time to do overdue maintenance and updates on our blog.
We get to spend more time with our cats.
“I have a calendar full of scribbled out plans!”
Candy Keane: Geek Mamas
“Social life, travel and school—I have a calendar full of scribbled out plans! We don't go out as much, and when we do it's definitely not the same with the mask wearing and the long waits at restaurants due to capacity limits and social distancing. It's no longer the relaxing outing it used to be. Normally we'd be traveling to Ireland to visit family in the summer—and we had a cruise planned—but now we have no travel plans on the horizon and are just hoping we can get back to that next year. And when school was cancelled right after spring break, we tried homeschooling, and that was miserable with a four-year-old. So, he's in kindergarten right now, and it's just weird to drop him off at the front door and not be able to walk him to class! I've only seen pictures of the classroom. It's definitely not the start of school I imagined. Everything is weird, but we are adjusting as best we can!”
“...I have not been traveling.”
Annette White: Bucket List Journey
“The number one aspect of my life affected by COVID-19 is the fact that I have not been traveling. The prior year had been spent traveling around the world about 50 percent of the time. Initially, for the first month or two at home, the break was welcomed. It was a chance to catch up on other aspects of the ‘Bucket List Journey’ brand, but now I am really missing it and trying to take little day trips to neighboring cities when I can just to get my fix!
Another change has been that being at home has brought out the need for nesting! I’ve organized every cabinet and drawer, cook dinner almost every night and am redecorating.
Lastly, my favorite change is that the pause in life has allowed me to concentrate on different bucket list goals besides just traveling. There are so many goals that you don’t even have to leave home for (like reading a classic book or getting ordained!). I’m currently working on learning Spanish and cooking EVERY recipe from one cookbook.”
“We gather with friends less frequently…”
Dan Noll & Audrey Scott: Uncornered Market
We’ve been forced to dramatically scale back personal and professional travel. We still explore and follow our curiosity, but we appreciate we can do that locally, too, and have really enjoyed exploring even more of our adopted home city Berlin.
We gather with friends less frequently and are more cautious now to meet outside (e.g., a picnic or outdoor bar) and in small groups.
We dine out less. And when we do, it’s outdoors
That said, we also gained some perspective on when shocks like COVID-19 happen. We wrote about this in early March. Our thoughts and approach still apply quite broadly, even outside of tourism.
Hearing from parents and travel writers from around the world really demystifies the problem and creates a real sense of community. We don’t feel so alone anymore, and we know we can get through this pandemic together.
Don’t let us do all the talking though. What’s an aspect of your life which has been affected due to COVID-19? Let us know by leaving a comment below.